A colonial farmhouse in the Hudson Valley that, realtors say, was once owned by Bing Crosby is for sale for just under $1.5 million.
The New York house is not far from the Connecticut border, within reasonable commuting distance of NYC, and includes a barn and rentable cottages, so you could recreate the whole Holiday Inn fantasy for real.
The house is described as “a 1700s pre-revolutionary mansion which has undergone several major renovations. Originally built as a Dutch Stone House in 1743 it was made into a brick colonial in 1772. Then it was made into a Gothic Victorian at the turn of the century. Its final major renovation was as the center piece of an outstanding 600 acre beef farm owned by Bing Crosby.”
Finally finished Volume 2 of Gary Giddins’ masterful biography of Bing Crosby. To celebrate, here’s Bing singing It’s Been a Long, Long Time. Inspired by VE Day in 1945, Bing’s version, featuring Les Paul on guitar and not much else, hit #1 on the charts in December of that year. According to Giddins, “Bing saw immediately that the lyric worked equally well as the entreaty of Odysseus to Penelope or Penelope to Odysseus.”
That would be Two Shillelagh O’Sullivan sung by Bing Crosby and written by Perry Botkin and Preston Foster. Botkin was a session musician who played with, well, everybody, from Al Jolson to Roy Rogers to Spike Jones, and then was Bing’s music director for many years.
Preston Foster, born in New Jersey, was an actor on Broadway and in Hollywood (he had roles in Annie Oakley and The Informer, among many others). He also was a singer and songwriter. In 1952, he and Botkin wrote about the fantastical O’Sullivan, “This bronco-busting Irishman from the sod of Erin’s Isle” who didn’t need a six gun, because he always had his two shillelaghs (“the Tipperary rifle, you never have to reload it”).
Inspired, no doubt, by the tall tales of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, O’Sullivan could lick them both. In fact,
“He was so strong… He could put his right hand in his own left pocket, and hold himself out at arm’s length. ”